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Alumni Columns 

Northwestern State University Magazine 



udent Services Center 

Or. Randall J. Webb, 
1965, 1966 

Northwestern State 
( 'niversity 

Brad Laird 

■\i tui£ thru tot 

( Wversit) 

Dear Alumni: 

The 201 2-1 3 academic year is off to a good start at Northwestern 
State University. 

Due to hard work by our Office of University Recruiting, faculty, 
staff, alumni and students, Northwestern State had an outstanding 
freshman class this year. We have the largest freshman class since 
the university implemented selective admissions. The incoming 
class is better prepared academically. The class average score on 
the ACT is above the state and national average. More high school 
valedictorians chose Northwestern State this year. This shows top 
students hold our academic programs in high regard. 

As our students returned to campus, they were able to use our 
new Student Services Center. This facility allowed the university to 
combine a number of administrative offices in one building, making 
it easier for students to conduct business. Work is also progressing 
on Caspari Hall, which will reopen this spring. Several other projects 
are in progress to add to the beauty of the campus, improve safety 
and reduce energy costs. 

Northwestern State seeks to serve students wherever they are 
through traditional classes and electronic delivery. This semes- 
ter, we expanded our course offerings in Marksville through our 
partnership with theTunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana. This will allow 
us to serve students in the Marksville area who cannot travel long 
distances to take classes. 

We recently received approval to offer our bachelor's program in 
computer information systems online. Northwestern State is also 
joining with the other University of Louisiana System institutions to 
offer a bachelor's degree in organizational leadership. The university 
will offer a concentration in public safety administration. 

We hope you will plan to join us for Homecoming in October. It 
will be a wonderful opportunity to see many of the improvements 
on campus and reconnect with cherished friends. 

Thank you for all you do to support Northwestern State 

My Fellow Alumni, 

The last few months have been an exciting time as I transitioned 
from the realm of athletics to my new position as acting director of 
University Advancement at Northwestern State. Read more about 
this on page nine. 

As many of you know, I have a long personal history with 
Northwestern State as a student athlete and coach, during which 
time it was impressed upon me to always be an ambassador for 
the university. As a coach, I strived to foster a sense of dedication, 
personal responsibility and commitment from each member of my 
team. I intend to take the same approach in my new position and 
believe my experience will enhance the work we do in Alumni and 

Northwestern State has always been a big part of my life, as well 
as that of my wife Renee and our children, Brianna and Brock. It is 
an honor for me to continue to serve the university in a role that 
will allow me to build upon contacts that I have already established 
as well as become acquainted with more prospective students, 
university supporters and community partners. 

I wish my predecessor, Drake Owens, best of luck and would like 
to express my gratitude to him and the rest of the staff in Alumni 
and Development for helping make the transition to my new team 
a smooth one. 

I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming months and 
again affirm my commitment to you that I will continue to do all 
that I can to advance the mission of Northwestern State University. 

Alumni Column* 

Official Publication ol 

Northwestern State Univernt) 

Natchitoches, 1 ouiaiana 

Organized in ism 

A member ot i AM 

Volume XXII Number 3 Hall 2012 

[he Alumni ( okimns(USPS0154M) i- published 

by Northwestern State I nnersitv 

Natchitoches, I ouisiana, ~UsC-0O02 

Periodicals Postage Paid at Natchitoches, I a .. 

and at additional mailing offices 

P( >S I MAS I 1 R Send address changes to the 
Alumni < olumns. Northwestern State University, 

Natchitoches, la 71497-0002, 

Alumni Office Phone M» 357 «U and 888-799 M86 
FAX 118-357 1225 • I mail 


President loseph B. Stanley. Natchitoclu 

1st Vice President lommy Chester, Natchitoches, i*Mi¥ 

2nd We President ( harles "Buddj Wood. Main. WS1 

Secretary treasurer Matt Bailey, Shreveport, 2003 

Acting Executive Director... Brad I aird. Natchitoches, iwk 


Matt Baile) Shreveport. 2003 

krr\ Brungart Natchitoches, 1969, is»7i 

Mont] ( hicola Alexandria. 1979, 14.S0 

Leonard Indris Shreveport, 1974, 1975 

Ken ( iindn Natchitoches, ls> _ 2 

Bobb) llebert New Orleans, 1983 

Ires Hill ( arencro, 198S 

Adrian Howard Bedford, I X 1989 

Patricia Hrapmann New Orleans. 1973, 1978 

(.ail [ones Natchez, 1981, 1991 

Matt Koury I eesville, 1995 

Angela Lasyone Natchitoches, 19M 

Brxant I ewis Havnesvillc. 1958 

Carroll Long Longview, IX. 1978 

William I . I ikkie I ulkm. 1 X. 2008 

David Morgan Austin. IX. 1973 

Kip Patrick Washington. DC 1995 

( lifl Poimboeul Shrevepoi 

I 'enise Que/aire Baton Rouge. 2(K>5 

loseph W Schelette Shreveport. l°f>S! 

Glenn [albert shreveport. liw 

( .ise\ |o Ihompson Shreveport, 2001 

( arlos [readwa) Northville, MI. 1992 

Marti Yienne Natchitoches lis: 

Rick) Walmsle) Rogers, AR. 1985 

Mike Wilbum Shreveport, 1975 

Dr I eonard Williams New Orleans. 1993 

Charles "Buddy" Wood Main. 1981 

STl Dl M Rl PRIsiNI \ll\l 

Derrick Houston \ man 

st , \ President 

Publisher Brad I and. 1997 

I dltoi Leah Pitcher lackson, 1994, 201 1 

( ontributors David West 

Doug Ireland. l°So 

Bill Smith 

Photograph) Gary Hardamon 

Design/Layout Beth McPherson Mann, 1975 

Northwestern Stab Univcnit) Is accredited b) tlu Commission oa 

..i the Southern Vssodation ol Colleges ana s»ho. 
Southern Lane, Deolui Georgia 10033 W97 telephone numba KM 

-ii,l Associate, Baccalaureate Master's and S| 
iUcti ea 

li is the polic) "i Northwestern State t nhrerrit) ot Louisiana not IB 
diacriminab on the basts ol race, color, teuglon, sex, national origin. 
Lisabilit) in Its educationa] programs, activities or employment 

lhis public document was published at .i total ,ost ot 

r 'on copies ol this public document were 

published in this Inst printing at a ,ost ot 117,0 

total iost ot all printings ol this document, including 

reprints Ibis document was published In 

Northwestern State Unlverslt) Office ol Univerttt) 
Vdvancemenl and printed In Moran Printing. In, . S425 

I lorida Boulevard Baton Rouge. I A 10806 to lostei and 

promote the mutual)) beneficial relationship between 
Northwestern state Unlverslt) and its alumni supporters 
and communit) partners Ibis material was printed la 

accordance With standards KM printing In state agencies 
established pursuant to R s |t l| 

was puu based m accordance with the provisions ol I ttlc 

I I ot the I ouisiana Kc\ ised statues 

! ! i ■ -« unjoin 

or students 

New Student Services Center brings many offices together under one roof 

For Reatha Cox (1987, 1994), settling into her office in 
Northwestern State's new Student Services Center was more 
than a welcome change. Having more space and a well-orga- 
nized facility helps her and her staff better meet their goal of 
engaging students in campus life and helping them make the 
most of their college experience. 

Cox and her staff in Student Life and First Year Experience 
were among the first to move into the new building last sum- 
mer and immediately set to work sorting the plethora of ma- 
terials they use - boxes of t-shirts, signs, banners and promo- 
tional items - into a storage area they lacked at the old office 
in the Student Union. 

"We have so much more space here and it makes is much 
easier to stay organized," said the multi-tasking Cox as she 
deployed a group of Demon V.I.P.s (Volunteers in Progress) 
preparing for Welcome Week activities at the start of the Fall 
semester. "The more efficiently we operate, the better job we 
do of getting the students involved, which means they get 
more out of college, they stay in school and really develop 
during the time they are here." 

The first state-funded new building constructed on the 
Northwestern State campus in over 30 years, the Student Ser- 
vices Center opened its doors last summer with occupants 
moving incrementally into 34,451 square foot facility that 
houses offices that deal directly with prospective and cur- 
rent student needs. The building is home to the Offices of 
University Recruiting, Student Life and First Year Experience, 
Financial Aid, Scholarships, Undergraduate and International 

Admissions and Dean of Students as well as the Registrar's 
Office, Bursar's Office, Student Accounting and One Card Of- 
fice. In addition to more efficient workspaces, the building 
has custom storage areas, rooms for staff meetings and space 
for personnel to meet with a student or a parent one on one. 

"When you walk into this building, the first thing you see 
is University Recruiting. It's designed to make it easy for pro- 
spective students and their parents to get the information 
they need to start the process of enrollment," said Chris Mag- 
gio, dean of students and assistant provost for Student Life. 
"Rather than going around campus to several different build- 
ings, our students are now able to make one stop to take care 
of several matters. This is much more convenient for the stu- 
dents and for those of us who work with them." 

Gretchen White, a nursing major and student employee 
from Natchitoches who greets visitors in the Recruiting office, 
said the facility is more spacious and makes a better impres- 
sion on prospective students than the office's former home 
South Hall. 

"It's more user-friendly," White said. "It's nice to come to 
work in the new building and know that everything is here." 

"It's nicer and more welcoming," said Tori Thompson of 
Houston, a sophomore student employee who has been 
working in Recruiting for a year. "It's much more up to date." 

The three-story building is in the heart of the campus at 
the intersection Sam Sibley Drive and Caspari Street, the for- 
mer site of West Caspari Hall. The $5,960,000 million project 
was funded through $98.4 million in surplus funds from the 

Alumni Columns 

continued on page 2 

SUMMER 2012 

i \\ u 
* '! U »1 II 11 LL 

Jana Lucky (1992, 1998), director of University Recruiting, moved 
boxes of materials into her new office in the Student Services 
Center. University Recruiting is on the first floor near the entrance 
of the new facility, conveniently placed to welcome prospective 
students seeking information about Northwestern State. 

Student Services Center continued from page 1 

2007-08 budget year set aside by Gov. Bobby Jindal and the 
state legislature. The money was specifically earmarked for 
one-time construction projects at state colleges and universi- 
ties and could not be used to compensate for budget short- 
falls. Ground for the Center broke in Octo- 
ber 2010. 

The waiting area in Financial Aid is more 
accommodating as well. 

"It more accessible and there's more 
waiting space," said Emily Eaves of Natchi- 
toches, a junior majoring in social work. 

"It's a lot nicer and up to date," said 
Bridgette Crooks of Stanley (2003), who is 
pursuing a master's degree in counseling. 
"It's closer to the rest of the campus." 

Marsha LaCour, verification officer in Fi- 
nancial Aid, saw hundreds of students pass 
through her office in the days prior to the Fall semester and 
often overheard positive comments. 

"It's one stop. Instead of directing people all over campus, 
they can take care of most everything in one building. We 
just tell them what floor," LaCour said. 

"It's one stop. Instead of 

directing people all over 

campus, they can take care 

of most everything in one 


— Marsha LaCour, verification 
officer in Financial Aid 

Renovation of Caspari Hall, a former men's dormitory, is underway 
and should be complete next year. The historic building will house 
the Office of the President and upper administration. 

"We are very pleased in the outcome of this project," said 
Chuck Bourg, director of Physical Plant Operations, who over- 
saw the project. "We couldn't be happier with the outcome. 
It is definitely a showcase for our alumni, students, faculty 
and staff. I believe all will be proud of this 
facility. I sure am." 

Meanwhile, construction continues on 
the old wing of Caspari Hall, which adjoins 
the Student Services Center. Caspari, a for- 
mer men's dormitory, will house the offices 
ofthe presidentand upper administration. 
It is expected to be complete by Fall 201 3. 
The Student Services Center is the first 
new state-funded building for student use 
on campus since the new wing ofthe A.A. 
Fredericks Center for Creative and Per- 
forming Arts was completed in 1 981 . 
"Bringing several offices that work closely with each other 
together under one roof makes it much easier to help stu- 
dents find answers and solve problems that may arise," Mag- 
gio said. "This building is going to help us make our students' 
experience the best it can be." 

Students in Northwestern State's Presidential 
Leadership Program (PLP) utilize a spacious 
work area in the Student Services Center as they 
begin projects that develop leadership skills. 

Mumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

Army Colonel 
Dr. Fred Bosarge 

Former Northwest- 
ern State administra- 
tor and retired Army 
Colonel Dr. Fred 
Bosarge (1961, 1970) 
was inducted into 
the Northwestern 
State Army ROTC 
Demon Regiment Hall 
of Fame as its 18th 
member. Bosarge 
served successively at 
Northwestern from 1 970-86 as Dean of Men, Dean of 
Students and Chief Student Affairs Officer. 

More than 1 ,000 Army officers, including eight 
generals, have been commissioned by the North- 
western State ROTC program since its inception in 
1950 and the Demon Regiment is comprised of the 
ROTC alumni. Hall of Fame members are selected by 
a panel of Demon Regiment officers and approved by 
the university president. 

On active Army duty from 1 961-68, Bosarge held 
command and staff positions in tank, cavalry and 
infantry units in Germany, Vietnam and the United 
States. In Vietnam in 1 966-67, he advised Vietnamese 
infantry and special operations units in 51 combat 
operations. He was promoted to major during his 
seven years on active Army duty. He left active duty 
to pursue a career in higher education. 

Bosarge then served in the active Army Reserve 
in an Army Reserve School as liaison officer with 
the Louisiana Army National Guard and as adjunct 
instructor in the U.S. Army Command and General 
Staff College. He retired in 1 999 with 38 years of total 
Army service. During that time he earned the Combat 
Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritori- 
ous Service Medal, two awards of the South Vietnam- 
ese Cross of Gallantry and commendation, campaign 
and service decorations. 

In addition to his two NSU degrees, Bosarge earned 
a doctor of philosophy degree from Florida State 
University. After serving in administration for 1 6 years 
at Northwestern State, he continued in student af- 
fairs at Lander University, South Carolina, for another 
1 9 years, retiring from Lander in 2005. He received 
awards from governmental, professional and student 
groups at national, regional, state and campus levels 
during his 35 years in higher education. He and his 
wife, the former Beverly Shirley of Natchitoches (1 970, 
1 976), have been married over 43 years, have three 
daughters and five grandchildren. They reside in 
Greenwood, S.C. 

William "J.W." Stine 

In celebration of Sulphur native Jackson William "J.W." 
Stine's 94th birthday, Mayor Chris Duncan proclaimed 
July 22, 201 2, as "J.W. Stine Day." Born on July 22, 1918, 
Stine attended attended Normal College, now North- 
western State University, on a football scholarship. He 
was also a Golden Gloves boxer. He married his high 
school sweetheart, Dee Dee Drost, in 1944, before he 
was sent overseas to fight in World War II. The couple was 
married for 67 years until Dee Dee's death in April 201 1 . 
Together they raised six sons and one daughter. They 
also have 31 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren with 
three more on the way. 

J.W. and his friend and future business partner, J.C. 
Carlin, joined the war effort at the same time, both enlist- 
ing in the Army Air Corps. First Lieutenant Stine piloted a 
B-26 bomber in 40 plus missions over Italy, Germany and 
France from Nov. 5, 1 944, to April 25, 1 945. He came back 
to Sulphur after his time in the military to open Starlin 
Lumber with Carlin. Stine eventually became the sole 
owner of the business and changed the company's name 
in the mid-1 970s to Stine Lumber. Eleven store loca- 
tions can now be found throughout Louisiana and one 
in Natchez, Mississippi. J. W. is a member of Our Lady of 
Prompt Succor Church and a member of the Knights of 
Columbus. He has also been a member of the American 
Legion for many years. In 1 989, he was awarded Citizen 
of the Year from the Diocese of Lake Charles. 

James Larry Holly, M.D 

James Larry Holly, M.D., a Beau- 
mont family physician and CEO of 
Southeast Texas Medical Associates, 
was named the 201 2 Distinguished Alumni Award recipi- 
ent by the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science 
Center at San Antonio. Holly earned his undergraduate 
degree in history at Northwestern State in 1 965. 

Holly was selected for his four decades of service to the 
Beaumont community, his unparalleled involvement in 
and support for the School of Medicine and his national 
leadership on key medical issues, including electronic 
health records and clinical decision support. 

Holly is a founding partner of SETMA, a practice that 
exemplifies the concept of the patient-centered medi- 
cal home. SETMA physicians strive to get close to their 
patients, establishing trust and positively impacting their 
care. Primary care is a "specialty of people," Holly said dur- 
ing a March speech at the Health Science Center. "Their 
stories are the most valuable things we've got." He is also 
an adjunct professor of family and community medicine 
at the Health Science Center. 

Alumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

Naval Aircrewman 
Second Class Joseph 
Patrick "JP"Fitzmorris 

Fraternity, University remember fallen soldier 

A re-chartering member of the Beta Omicron Chapter of 
Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at Northwestern State University was 
among those killed in a U.S. Navy helicopter crash in Oman. 
Naval Aircrewman Second Class Joseph Patrick "JP"Fitzmor- 
ris, 31, of West Monroe was aboard a MH-53 Sea Dragon 
helicopter that went down July 1 9, 201 2, on the southeast 
coast of the Arabian Peninsula. 

Fitzmorris and another crewman were declared deceased 
following a search of the wreckage and the surrounding 
crash site, according to the U.S. Naval Forces Central Com- 
mand Public Affairs office. Three other helicopter crewmem- 
bers survived. The crash, 58 miles southwest of Muscat, 
Oman, was not due to any sort of hostile activity, the Navy 
said in a news release. The crash remains under investiga- 
tion. The Norfolk, Va.-based Helicopter Mine Countermea- 
sure Squadron (HM) 1 5, also known as the "Blackhawks," was 
conducting heavy lift support operations at the time. 

On July 23, fellow service members and friends held a 

memorial service in Bahrain for Fitzmorris and his fallen 
crewmate, Chief Naval Aircrewman Sean P. Sullivan. Com- 
manding officers offered an invocation and remarks about 
their selfless devotion to duty and unwavering commitment 
to the Navy, according to a Navy news release. 

The Public Affairs office reported Fitzmorris joined the 
Navy in 2004 as an aviation electrician's mate and continued 
his service as a naval aircrewman. Fitzmorris completed 
tours with Helicopter Training Squadron (HT) 8, HT 28, and 

Fitzmorris, who grew up in Ruston, was married in Febru- 
ary to the former Jacqueline Gulla, also a U.S. Navy sailor. A 
1 999 graduate of Ruston High School, he studied Health and 
Exercise Science at Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech. 

In 2000, Fitzmorris was one of 29 members that re-char- 
tered the Beta Omicron Chapter after nearly two decades of 
dormancy on the NSU campus. On Feb. 1 2, 2000, he be- 
came the chapter's 303 member, a re-founding father. Beta 
Omicron Chapter alumni and student members are currently 
discussing ideas for memorializing his service and sacrifice. 

Funeral services were held Aug. 3 at Trinity Methodist 
Church in Ruston. 

Friends can view a video tribute created by the Blackhawk 
Squadron at this website: p— n ~jS'- r^l 2/07/22/pi-kappa- ^JjJh ■"' *—\ 
phi-alumnus-killed-in-navy-helicopter- S^i^.*vl5^ 


April Jessup Giddens, Louisiana's 
2012 Teacher of the Year 

April Jessup Giddens, Louisiana's 2012 
Teacher of the Year, met President Barack 
Obama during the National Teacher of 
the Year event in Washington, D.C., earlier 
this year. Giddens and Teachers of the 
Year from every other state were honored 
with a reception and attended a round 
table discussion at the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Education. Giddens earned her 
bachelor's degree in 1996 and master's 
degree in 1998 from Northwestern. 
She is a sixth grade teacher at Natchi- 
toches Magnet School. As Teacher of 
the Year, Giddens served as a special 
advisor to the Louisiana Departent 
of Education. She is a Florien na- 
tive and married to Mike Giddens, 
a 1 994 graduate of Northwestern. 
They have three children, Hannah, Timo- 
thy and Emma. 


SUMMER 2012 

Hillman sisters fulfill 
parents' dream of earning 
college degrees 

Many early 20th century 
residents of rural Louisiana who 
were not able to pursue much 
formal education often saw at- 
tending college as a gateway to 
opportunity for their children. 
Such was the case with one 
central Louisiana family, whose 
patriarch constantly emphasized 
the importance of an education 
and pushed his children towards 
achieving college degrees. 

"There were 1 children in our 
father's family, five boys and five 
girls. Our grandfather did not 
stress education. The boys had 
to drop out of school and work 

on the farm. The girls did not graduate from high school," 
said Alice Faye Hillman Spurgeon of Pineville (1 957). "Our 
uncle, Jimmy Hillman, was the first one to attend college in 
our family." 

After Jimmy Hillman's discharge from the Coast Guard, 
his brother Houston, Spurgeon's father, urged him to attend 
Northwestern State on the G.I. Bill. He majored in indus- 
trial arts, graduated in 1 949, earned a graduate degree in 
Arkansas and was hired to teach industrial arts in Longville 
in Beauregard Parish, where he also coached boys and girls 
basketball. He, too, encouraged the young members of his 
extended family to strive towards a college education. 

"Five out of six of us went to NSU and were teachers," said 
Spurgeon, the oldest of the six girls who grew up in rural 
Rapides Parish and pursued degrees at Northwestern State 
University. The five graduates, in addition to Spurgeon who 
earned a degree in upper elementary education, are Bettie 
Sue Hillman Henagan of Moss Bluff (1 958), math and educa- 
tion; Shirley Ruth Hillman Groves of Westlake (1 967), health 
and physical education and recreation, and M.Ed, from Mc- 
Neese; Lois Marie Hillman Johnson of Rapides Station (1 984), 
M.Ed., and Judie Mae Hillman Morrison of Madison, Miss., 
(1971), health, physical education and safety. 

"From our dad, we heard at breakfast, dinner and supper, 
'You're going to get an education,'" said Spurgeon, who grew 
up on Lena Road and graduated from Boyce High School. "I 
started at Northwestern and my sisters followed suit." 

Hillman taught junior high math a total of 32.86 years at 
Alexandria Junior High, where Tom Paul Southerland (1943), 
later a long-time administrator at Northwestern, was her 
principal. She also taught one year in Calcasieu Parish. Her 
sisters also went to work in Rapides Parish. 

"At one time, there were three of us teaching at Alexandria 
Junior High," she said. 

During their careers in education, Johnson served as an 
administrator in Rapides Parish and Groves taught at Lake 
Charles High School and was director of the well-known Kit- 
ties marching group. Henagan taught at Lagrange Jr. High 

Sisters Alice Faye Hillman Spurgeon, Bettie Sue Hillman Henagan, Virginia Ann Hillman McCann, 
Lois Marie Hillman Johnson, Shirley Ruth Hillman Groves and Judie Mae Hillman Morrison all earned 

and was also principal of a private school in Texas. Morrison 
taught in Lake Charles and in Spring, Texas. 

As an undergraduate, Spurgeon had a student job in NSU's 
Physical Education Department with coaches Red Thomas, 
Walter Ledet and Cracker Brown. Doc Marx, a RE. professor 
and athletic trainer, made a memorable impression. She 
recalled fellow students were Joe Sampite, who served as 
Natchitoches mayor from 1980-2000, and Robert Alost, who 
taught with Spurgeon at Alexandria Jr. High and served as 
president of Northwestern State from 1 986-1 996. 

"From our dad, we heard at 
breakfast, dinner and supper, 
'You're going to get an education.' 
I started at Northwestern and my 
sisters followed suit." 

As the years passed, more of the family enrolled at 
Northwestern. Another sister, Virginia Ann Hillman Mc- 
Cann, earned a degree in accounting at LSU-A; however, 
her daughterTerri Annette McCann Jensen, graduated from 
Northwestern State in 1986 with a degree in elementary 
education. Spurgeon's granddaughter-in-law Amber Nicole 
Sharpe Spurgeon of Prospect graduated from NSU with a 
general studies degree in 2010. 

Because of their parents', Houston and Mary Hillman's, 
belief in the benefits of a college education, none of the Hill- 
man girls doubted they would earn a degree. 

"We never considered not going," Spurgeon said. "I wanted 
to be able to take care of myself and back then your choices 
were teaching and nursing. We all chose teaching." 

See more Alumni stories in the Lagniappe 

section of the online extended version 

of the Alumni Columns fall issue at 


SUMMER 2012 

Bailey takes music, marching experience to Asia 

"I believe that music can have a positive impact 
on young adults' lives and can also teach strong 
life lessons such as discipline and teamwork/' 

said Northwestern State alumnus Trevor Bailey, a 201 1 grad- 
uate who spent several months earlier this year traveling 
throughout Asia sharing his love and knowledge of music. 
He served as a guest clinician for both concert and marching 
bands during his trip. 

"The opportunity to adjudicate and teach music en- 
sembles on this grand of a stage is not very common," said 
Bailey, who was invited to judge the 31st Annual Thailand 
Royal Cup Marching and Concert Band Championships, an 
international three-day music contest that features the best 
marching and concert bands in Asia. "I was very humbled to 
be granted this opportunity. Members of the Thai govern- 
ment and royal family were in attendance throughout the 

Along with the judging opportunity came an invitation 
to be a guest speaker at the 1 st Annual Thailand Marching 
Band Clinic. 

"Speakers at this event included individuals who are asso- 
ciated with some of the best music ensembles in the United 
States and I made it a point to feature the Spirit of North- 
western Demon Marching Band several times throughout 
this clinic," he said. "During this clinic, I was asked to engage 
in several open forums in which band directors and students 
ranging from ages 12-21 were able to ask me and the other 
panelists questions about how to make their marching 
bands more successful." 

He also presented a clinic on singing in the classroom. 

"The topic was 'Bands Can Sing. . .Yes We Cani'The crowd 
certainly got a kick out of the title. The discussion was 
centered on the importance of singing for the members of 
any music ensemble," he explained. "I very clearly laid out 
the correct techniques needed to obtain the best results and 
prepared numerous handouts for each attending partici- 
pant. The packet included a list of correct ways to approach 
singing and also some common faults to be mindful of 
both as an instructor and student. Also enclosed were ways 
to achieve good classroom management skills and how 
to keep students engaged and active while teaching your 
ensemble how to sing. All 1 25 participants actively showed 
off their vocal abilities at the end of the lecture by demon- 
strating the examples I provided in the packet. It was well 
received by all the attendees and my fellow colleagues." 

A Shreveport native, Bailey earned a bachelor's degree in 
music at Northwestern State, where he played euphonium in 
the Spirit of Northwestern Demon Marching Band. While at 
NSU he was an active member of Kappa Kappa Psi National 
Honorary Band Fraternity and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. 

"My involvement with these groups allowed me to be- 
come a great team player and also helped to develop good 
management skills," he said. "My relationship with my prima- 
ry professor, Dr. Masahito Kuroda was very helpful to me. Dr. 
Kuroda was born in Japan and understands the Asian culture 
very well. We exchanged many phone calls and emails about 
what to expect from the students and teachers I would be 
dealing with on a daily basis. I was more prepared because 

Bailey's most meaningful experiences in 
Asia were working with band students in 
Malaysia and Thailand. 

he took the time 
out of his busy 
schedule to discuss 
these topics with 
me and for that I 
am so grateful to 

Bailey credits 
contacts devel- 
oped through his 
involvement with summer drum and bugle corps, competi- 
tive marching units that consist of percussion and brass 
instruments and color guard, for generating the opportunity 
to teach and lecture in Asia. 

"I received a call from Stephen Mason, a graduate assistant 
for the UCLA marching band who I met in 2010 when I hired 
him as an instructor for The Troopers Drum and Bugle Corps. 
We worked together during those summer months and 
instantly had a mutual respect for one another," Bailey said. "I 
also contribute my relationship with The Cavaliers Drum and 
Bugle Corps as a reason why I was hired. I worked with this 
group during the 201 1 season. The Cavaliers are seven-time 
Drum Corps International World Champions and this march- 
ing unit consists of some of the best instructional staff and 
college-aged musicians in the world." 

In the wake of these opportunities, Bailey's most meaning- 
ful experience came working for Yamaha Band Instruments 
of Thailand for 1 weeks, during which time he traveled 
across Malaysia and Thailand teaching a total of 1,100 stu- 

"I gave clinics on how to play instruments starting from 
a basic level leading up to an advanced level. A company 
translator accompanied me for almost my entire trip. The 
students' attitudes were always positive and they were 
ready to meet their goals every single day. The main group I 
instructed was the Horwang Marching Band from Bangkok, 
Thailand. This group is made up of 70 marching members 
who perform at a level I have never seen before from such 
young students. We spent a total of 8 weeks putting a 
marching band show entitled 'Currents... Air, Water, Electric 
on the field." 

The performance of the show took place after Bailey re- 
turned to the United States in June and began preparations 
for graduate school. The Horwang Marching Band placed 
2nd at the National Indoor Championships. 

"I could not have done these jobs at a high level if I did not 
have the proper training from the amazing faculty at North- 
western State University," Bailey said. "Their diverse knowl- 
edge of every single music ensemble available allowed me 
to have all the tools necessary to approach the challenges 
that faced me with the highest amount of confidence. Be- 
ing a music major at NSU definitely help my experiences in 
Thailand and Malaysia. It was because of the training I re- 
ceived from these outstanding professors that I walked into 
this opportunity feeling confident about my abilities. The 
music faculty at NSU is awesome and is lead by one of the 
best educators I know, Mr. Bill Brent. My experiences with 
them have always been positive and encouraging. Anytime 
I needed a pat on the back or a little tough love they were 
always there. Never for a moment did I feel alone." 


SUMMER 2012 

Alumna named Louisiana's 2013 Middle School 

Teacher of the Year 

Amanda Warren knew all her life she wanted to be a teacher. The daughter of 
teachers, she often played school in her mother's classroom and although her parents 
suggested she pursue a different career path, she followed her heart into education. 

"I love the joy on my students' faces when they learn something and realize how much 
fun it is to learn,"Warren said. "I have so much energy and passion for teaching and that 
filters down to the students. It's also rewarding when they take lessons home to work on 
and bring them back to share." 

Warren, a fourth grade teacher at Lake Harbor Middle School in Mandeville, was 
named Louisiana's 2013 Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Louisiana Department 
of Education in July. She is a 2009 graduate of Northwestern State University's graduate 
program in Technology Leadership for K-1 2 teachers. 

Warren earned her undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University in 2003 and 
began her 1 0th year of teaching this fall. She enrolled in Northwestern State's master's 
program, which is administered through the school's College of Education and Human 
Development, upon the recommendation of colleagues who also completed M.Ed, de- 
grees through similar programs at Northwestern State. 

"/ knew I wanted to focus on technology because I 
believe that is the future. I was attracted to the program 
because I had the ability to complete the degree on-line 
and I enjoyed my professors." 

Warren is married to Joel Warren and the mother of two young children. She was one 
of eight regional finalists picked earlier this year for the recognition. She teaches a self- 
contained fourth grade class, which means she teaches all subjects to her class at Lake 
Harbor, a school with about 700 fourth through sixth grade students. She acknowledged 
her colleagues and her principal, Susan Patin, for their support. 

"I come from a family of educators. I've always known I wanted to be a teacher and I 
love it," she said. 

"Great teachers and great leaders are the heart and soul of great schools. These dis- 
tinguished educators and administrators are a fine representation of the high-caliber 
professionals we are fortunate to have in Louisiana public schools," State Superintendent 
John White said. "Each of the educators we honored during the celebration of education 
represents the backbone of our educational system. They are shaping the lives of our 
children, and we all enjoy thanking them in this very special way." 

Principals and teachers are selected based on their leadership and teaching skills, 
respectively, as well as their dedication and respect of students, parents and colleagues; 
demonstrated school and community leadership; affiliations with educational organiza- 
tions; ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities; and their commitment 
to their profession. 

Northwestern State University's College of Education and Human Development pro- 
duced several regional winners for 201 3 Louisiana Teacher of the Year. 

Regional finalists at the high school level were Dewey Gladen Eaves, Jr. (2004) of 
Zwolle High School and Melanie Schweiger (1 996) of Stanley High School. At the 
middle school level, regional finalists were June M. Bergeron (2004) of North Vermilion 
High School, Monica Alphonso (2008) of Anacoco Elementary School and Amy Crain of 
Dutchtown Middle School, a current student completing a master's in curriculum and 
instruction. Erica Guillory of R.W. Vincent Elementary School, who is currently taking 
classes at NSU for add on certification in academically gifted, was a regional finalist at the 
elementary level. 

Last year, April Jessup Giddens, who earned undergraduate and master's degrees at 
Northwestern State, was the overall Louisiana Teacher of the Year. 

For more information on graduate programs offered through Northwestern State's Col- 
lege of Education and Human Development, visit or e-mail educa- 

NSU graduate Amanda 
Warren was named the 
201 3 Middle School 
Teacher of the Year by the 
Louisiana Department of 

Alumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

A frightening brush with 
danger on an industrial 
site changed Kirk Martin's 
life and career. The inci- 
dent prompted the North- 
western State University alumnus to 
use his skills as an artist in Louisiana's 
growing movie industry and today 
is finding success in a field he always 
dreamed about. One of his projects, 
Arachnoquake, debuted on the Syfy 
Channel last summer. 

"It was the best decision I ever 
made. It is a struggle getting started 
and this industry can be mean and 
cold. I moved without a job but I 
saved enough money to get by for a 
good while," he said. "I knew the risk 
and the struggles ahead from the 
beginning but I kept in mind that it 
would be worth it in the future. With- 
out failure there is no success. I have 
failed and succeeded." 

Martin graduated from Northwest- 
ern State in 201 with a bachelor's 
degree in fine art with a concentra- 
tion in graphic communications, but 
found work in another field. 

"After I graduated from NSU, I 
worked at a natural gas and oil well 
service company in Coushatta where 
I had a lot of close calls with injury 
or possible death. One particularly 
close call changed my mind about 
what I should be doing to make it as 

Kirk Martin is shown at work creating a 
set piece for a film. 

Martin shoots 
for the stars 
with burgeoning 
film career 

an artist and a professional in my field," 
Martin said. Within a few months, Mar- 
tin moved to Baton Rouge to pursue 
his dream. 

"I started doing internships ran- 
domly with no pay and did some extra 
(background) acting work on a few dif- 
ferent shows, strictly because I needed 
money," Martin said. "Then I got an 
email to be a props assistant on a show 
and said yes, even though I didn't get 
paid. The producers of that movie 
backed out and shut it down while 
we were in preproduction. The props 
master from that show brought me on 
to a Syfy flick the next day, where I did 
some graphics for them and the art 
director decided to pay me as an art 
production assistant. I basically was a 
jack-of-all-trades. I did graphics, props, 
built sets, painted and aged walls and 
a lot of little things that I couldn't have 
done if I didn't get my BFA from NSU." 

Once that show wrapped up, Martin 
stayed in touch with co-workers and 
created graphics for other movies they 
were working on. The company Mar- 
tin works for, Active Entertainment, 
contracts with the Syfy Channel and 
he has worked on five different movies 
as a graphic artist, illustrator for cos- 
tumes, set dresser, on-set dresser, set 
construction, scenic painter and other 
uncredited positions. 

"Since last year I've been on full 
throttle with working and they love 
my graphics and I constantly surprise 
them at what I can do and do well," he 
said. "Everything I learned from [Pro- 
fessor] Michael Yankowski and NSU, 
especially from the fine and graphic 
arts classes, have helped me with a lot 
of things in the film industry." 

As an undergraduate, Martin made 
a movie for an independent study class 
based on tales of a notorious band of 
late 19th century Louisiana outlaws. 

"It's a Civil War-era film that takes 
place during Reconstruction called 
'South Hills' starring my brother and 
a friend. It's really amateur because I 
had no experience in this line of work, 
but it turned out all right. I'm proud 
of it. I made everything as original as I 
could, all the way down to the music I 
composed for the soundtrack." 

Arachnoquake aired in June. The 
film stars Edward Furlong, Tracy Gold 
and Bug Hall. He worked on Ameri- 
can Horror House starring Morgan 
Fairchild, Heebie Jeebies and Winged 
Terror. He began day playing with 
Louisiana Media Productions on a film 
called Pawn Shop Chronicles. 

"Being an artist is always going 
to be a struggle and an unappreci- 
ated profession. I've accepted that 
and don't worry about it. I just keep 
making things look good, get paid 
and people wonder, 'How do they do 
it?' In this business when sets aren't 
ready or'right'the art department 
gets all the blame, but when they 
are ready and look good we never 
get any praise for it. It's the nature of 
the business and I am learning more 

Martin said many opportunities ex- 
ist in the film industry and he encour- 
ages student artists to follow their 

"Louisiana is making a lot of shows, 
from Shreveport to New Orleans and 
all in between. You can make a career 
doing things that seem like unattain- 
able dreams without moving out of 
state," he said. "The advice that I would 
give a student wanting to pursue a 
career in the film industry would be to 
save money and make a decision on 
where you want to live, whether Baton 
Rouge, Shreveport or New Orleans. 
Save a lot of money because the work 
is unpredictable and sometimes unre- 
liable. I had to do some extra (back- 
ground acting) work just to help pay 
my bills for a few months. If you can 
manage your money well then you 
will be all right but if you can't then 
your going to have problems. 

"I love my job. It's something I 
always wanted to do but was always 
been something that was unattain- 
able in my mind," he said. "But the 
dream was attainable after all." 


SUMMER 2012 

Laird named acting director of University Advancement 

Brad Laird, a 1997 graduate of Northwestern State, has 
been named acting director of University Advancement, 
succeeding Drake Owens, who handled that role since 2008. 
The appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Su- 
pervisors for the University of Louisiana system. 

Laird was previously Northwestern State's associate head 
football coach and defensive coordinator. 

Laird will oversee the NSU Alumni Association and the 
NSU Foundation. The Alumni Association promotes the ad- 
vancement of academic excellence by developing coalition 
among alumni, students, friends and the university com- 
munity, while supporting the university's traditions, values 
and future. The NSU Foundation serves the university, its 
students and faculty primarily through financial resources 
raised and distributed. 

"It was tremendously difficult to step away from the foot- 
ball team and athletic department, and especially the coach- 
es, players and staff I've worked alongside. It has been a priv- 
ilege every step of the way. I will forever cherish the love and 

Brad Laird, 1998 

friendship that I've enjoyed with the De- 
mon football family, but for my family, and 
for my university, this new job is a fantastic 
opportunity. Renee and I love NSU, we love 
Natchitoches, and we look forward to this 
new adventure in our lives." 

Owens, who was part of record fundrais- 
ing and alumni outreach in his four years in the position, praised 
the selection of Laird as his successor. 

"Brad is a team player who will be a great leader for the variety 
of talented people we have on our staff. He's going to appeal to 
our alumni and donor base as somebody who can speak to all 
aspects of our university. He's been selling Northwestern State 
University to recruits, their families and their coaches," said Ow- 
ens. "He knows about the great assets we have, the tremendous 
stories we have to tell. He'll relate to someone who just gradu- 
ated, and he'll appeal to someone who's receiving a 50-year an- 
niversary diploma. He just has a great demeanor and sincerely 
loves our university." 

The 201 2 Tony Awards shined a spot- 
light on Northwestern State University alumnus 
Bruston Kade Manuel when The Gershwins' Porgy 
and Bess won Best Revival of a Musical at the 
66th annual awards ceremony that recognizes 
achievement in live Broadway theatre. Manuel's 
independent entertainment production com- 
pany, Paper Boy Productions, is a co-producer of 
the show. 

"It was an amazing event. The theatre com- 
munity in New York City is very close knit, so ev- 
eryone wants you to succeed. I was on pins and 
needles the whole night because we were up 
against stiff competition," he said. "What winning 
the Tony Award means for this production is an 
increase in exposure and interest. After winning, 
we saw a huge spike in our ticket sales, which 
keeps us running and makes the show profit." 

Manuel founded Paper Boy Productions with 
Will Dombrowski in 2010 and their producer/ 
investor resume includes Annie (Australia), The 
Addams Family, Colin Quinn Long Story Short, The 
Merchant of Venice, A Life in the Theatre, Hairspray 
(UK), Next to Normal, Chicago (Australia), and 
Little Miss Sunshine, currently in development. 

"I am an 'above the title' producer, which 
means that I raised substantial capital from 
investors for the show," he explained. "Although I 
didn't have a hand in developing the show, I was 
brought on board early in its inception to raise 
funds to make the show a reality. Once the show 
returns the initial principle to all our investors, 
which is called recouping, then we are in profit. 
This show has the potential to run for quite some 
time in profit, which means investors in the show 

will continue to reap financial rewards of invest- 
ing in theatre." 

Manuel moved to New York City shortly after 
graduating from Northwestern State in 2003. He 
began his college career as a music education 
major and later changed to vocal music, per- 
forming with the concert and chamber choirs. 
He was a drum major for the Spirit of Northwest- 
ern Demon Marching Band. After moving to 
NYC, he auditioned for musical theatre roles and 
discovered an affinity for the business side of 
Broadway. While still auditioning, he worked for 
a private family-run office, which influenced him 
to start Paper Boy Productions with a friend. 

Last year, Manuel initiated the Carolyn Smith 
Manuel Music Scholarship for an upperclassman 
music education major at Northwestern State, 
which is named for his mother, and contributed 
to the Spirit of Northwestern uniform drive. He 
said his performing experiences at Northwest- 
ern State help him predict what draws positive 
response from an audience. Winning a Tony 
Awards gives Manuel credibility as a producer 
who knows how to pick great works that have 
the potential for a long run, which drives profits 
for individual investors. 

"Through my company, I hope to acquire more 
and more investors that are interested in putting 
their money in theatrical entertainment with 
the promise of solid returns," he said. "Investing 
in theatre has become a big business. Art really 
does meet commerce. In 201 1, Broadway gener- 
ated $18 billion for the NYC economy." 

For more information on Manuel's company, 

Alumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 


Becca Hayes 

An interest in visiting a Caribbean island led Becca Hayes to join a mission trip earlier this year 
that became"one of the most incredible experiences in my life. ..and I'm not just talking about the 
trip alone. It has been an amazing journey filled with leaps of faith, many miracles and the develop- 
ment of some great relationships." 

Hayes was part of a team from East-West Ministries and Cypress Bible Church 
of Cypress, Texas, who shared the Christian gospel with residents of a small com- 
munist island nation. The trip's coordinating organization, East West Ministries, 
is a group focused on reaching people with restricted access to Christianity in 
countries with varying political and spiritual climates. Hayes is prohibited from 
naming her specific destination for fear of making conditions unsafe for the 
churches she visited or blocking the group from going back. 

"A lady I am friends with in Bible study became a full time missionary and this 
island is one of her territories. I committed to going in January," she said. 

The team left for the Caribbean in June, met with translators and headed to 
their partnering church, its pastor and members. There they prepared for the 
next five days of ministry in which they were invited into people's home for 
evangelical work. 

"I was amazed about how open the people were," Hayes said. "They were so 
open hearing the Gospel. The poverty is overwhelming in the Caribbean. It 
was difficult to see the endless needs. But something that the Christians over 
there have that we don't is pure joy. I think that in America we have so much we 
forget that joy doesn't come from material things." 

The trip wasn't Hayes' first ministry opportunity. She participated in two medi- 
cal mission trips to Bolivia where her expertise as a nurse helped improve the 
lives of many children. 

"In Bolivia, we did cardiac surgery for kids with congenital heart defects," she 
said. "After I did the first trip, my whole outlook on life changed. Seeing how 
people in third world countries live put things in perspective for me. We are so blessed in America. So blessed." 
Her latest trip was not a medical mission, but an evangelical one. 

"As much as the first trip to Bolivia changed me, this trip was even more profound. It is hard to describe how awesome it 
was to go into someone's home and share with them the love of God, in spite of my limited ability to present or even speak 
their language. It was beyond great." 

Hayes grew up in Natchitoches and graduated from 
St. Mary's High School. She transferred to Northwestern 
State from LSU in 1990 to play basketball and run track. 
She graduated with a general studies degree in 1993 and 
from the School of Nursing in 1 995. Her brother Randolph 
played football at Northwestern from 1986-1990. 

"I've always felt so grateful to be able to come back 
home and finish my eligibility and find my way in what 
would become a passionate career in nursing," Hayes said. 

She lives in Houston with her dog Gracy and works as an 
education specialist in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at 
Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital Her recent mission 
experience led her out of her comfort zone and stretched 
her faith, she said. 

"I would like to become a full time missionary. Not right 
now, but in the next decade or whenever God calls me to 
that and makes provision for me. I can't tell you how it has 
put my life into perspective and how my priorities have 
completely changed. 

"I plan on going back to the Caribbean as soon as I can," 
Hayes said. "I have discovered that I have a gift for evange- 
lism and for encouraging others. It was so much fun to be 
with the Christians and encourage them as well as to see 
others accept Christ into their hearts. I have done medical 
missions before but I have never felt so absolutely like I am 
using my gifts and talents completely." 

Muntni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

<y\3£ckjc^L f^^tszc^ trrx^ccMs^s 

CHC collecting histories of black church in Natchitoches Parish 

The Creole Heritage Center at North- 
western State University is beginning 
a project to document the history of 
black churches in Natchitoches Parish 
and is seeking input from pastors and 
congregations willing to share church 
histories and records. 

Researchers plan to compile an index 
of churches and eventually publish a 
book that would be of interest to histo- 
rians and genealogists. The Center was 
awarded a grant from the Cane River 
National Heritage Area to begin the 
first phase of the project. 

"In the first phase, we will work to 
compile a list of churches and contacts. 
Then we will create a survey asking if 
they have their church history. Many 
churches do and they read those on 
their church anniversary," said graduate 
student Markita Hamilton, the project's 
principal investigator. She plans to 
work with the Natchitoches Ministe- 
rial Alliance and attend district church 
meetings in search of records pertain- 
ing to births, baptisms, deaths, mar- 
riages, pastors, memberships and any 
photographs that may exist. Hamilton 
hopes congregations will be willing to 
have their records scanned, digitized 
and eventually made searchable. "I'm 
very interested in the little known facts 
about each church." 

"There was a book published in 
2001 entitled, Historic Black Churches 
of Natchitoches Parish which only 
included approximately 40 churches," 
said Loletta Wynder, project coordina- 
tor for the Creole Heritage Center. "In 
our primary research, we have found 
that there were many more thriving 
churches that were not included, some 
that were established over 1 00 years 
ago. In addition, we need to include 
other churches that were established 
over the last ten years, after the print- 
ing of the original book. The project 
could grow and grow, but first we have 
to get the information." 

Hamilton and Wynder will give 
priority to older churches that have the 
most fragile records. They will docu- 
ment cemeteries associated with the 
churches, deacons and information 

pertaining to how each church was 
established. They are also interested in 
how the churches got their names and 
if the name changed over the years. 

"Church records are important. Some 
churches were built on land donated 
to the congregation from neighboring 
landowners in which case, there would 
be a record in the courthouse describ- 
ing plats and where it came from," 
Wynder said. A wealth of information 
can also be gathered from funeral pro- 
grams and prayer cards that list dates 
and biographical information about the 

Many churches have a long history 
with freemasonry with records that 
document cornerstone laying. Church 
records also often demonstrate a close 
connection between religion and 
education in the black community, 
Hamilton said, as many churches began 
in schools and many schools began in 

The Guide to Black Churches in Natchi- 
toches Parish will include those that 
descend from churches that no longer 
exist and those that were formed when 
a congregation split. Often churches 
with similar names were once one 
church, Wynder explained, and there 
are some instances of congregations 
changing denominations altogether 
after a split. Those splits sometimes 
present a challenge to collecting and 
documenting records; elders may be 
hesitant to exhume old conflicts and, 
because small churches are so closely 
tied to family history, resentment over 
a split can endure for generations. 

"Many church members remain faith- 
ful members of their family's church, 
even if they move to a different part 
of the parish and many churches are 
populated by members of the same 
family. All the members are related," 
Hamilton said. 

Another challenge is that records 
passed down through decades of 
church secretaries sometimes get lost 
or placed in a cabinet and forgotten, 
Hamilton said. The Creole Heritage 
Center has resources to help congrega- 
tions properly archive their documents 

Savior Baptist Church on Cane River 

to preserve them. 

The Rev. Henry Edwards, pastor of 
St. Savior Baptist Church near Vienna 
Bend, is enthusiastic about the project, 
not only in recording the history of his 
1 30-year-old church, but also some of 
the traditions associated with baptism, 
communion and celebrations like 
Homecoming and Family and Friends 

"I would be eager to share," said 
Edwards, who described the old St. 
Savior building, where the bell tolled 
for funerals and congregants shared 
meals under the trees by Cane River 
surrounded by cotton and cornfields. 
"There are some things that should 
never die. You want to make sure your 
children and grandchildren balance the 
present with the past so they respect 
and know what took place. Without the 
old, you can't have the new." 

"Our main focus is genealogy. The 
first step is to get the church history 
itself and find out if they have records 
of baptism, marriages, death and who 
is buried in the cemetery/'Wynder said. 
"Once printed, this book will be an 
excellent tool for churches, genealogi- 
cal associations and family members 
researching their family information. 
On a personal note, I am hoping that it 
will help me to fill in some of the gaps 
on my own family tree." 

For more information on The Guide 
to Black Churches in Natchitoches Parish, 
contact Hamilton at the Creole Heri- 
tage Center at (318) 357-6685. 

Alumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

Ill Foundation News 



Waskom property 
donated to NSU through 
planned bequest 

Several members of the Waskom family and friends joined Lee 
Waskom as he announced a planned property bequest to North- 
western State University upon his death. The property is located 
across University Parkway from NSU's Watson Library. From left are 
Evelyn Anderson, former director of operations for Campus Corner 
Bookstores; Rita Fontenot, Sara Waskom, Mary Kay Waskom, Ginny 
and Lee Waskom, Tracy Brown and Michele and Scott Waskom. 

Northwestern State University alumnus and Natchitoches 
businessman Lee Waskom and his wife Ginny established a 
planned gift through the NSU Foundation in which a strip 
of property along University Parkway will be donated to the 
university upon his death. The donation includes 12-1/2 lots 
with an appraised value at over $2.1 million, the second larg- 
est bequest in university history, officials announced. 

"My life was all about Northwestern," Waskom said. "I bleed 
purple and white. It's been a joy to work with the Founda- 
tion and to feel able to contribute. I was able to purchase 
and develop this property so at the end of my life and 
Ginny's, it will pass to NSU. I trust the Foundation and know 
they will manage it well. I hope it's 40 or 50 years from now 
and I hope the property continues to increase in value." 

The property is located opposite NSU's Watson Library and 
currently houses several businesses. 

Waskom earned a degree in accounting at Northwestern 
State in 1986, but his family's association with the university 
goes back much further. His family moved to Natchitoches 
when he was 1 1 months old when his father, Dr. John Was- 
kom, became a member of the faculty. The family purchased 
Pat's Economy in 1 985, later renamed Campus Corner, a 
college-oriented bookstore that sold teaching aids, class- 
room materials, office supplies, textbooks and clothing. The 
business flourished during several years that Northwestern 

State experienced unprecedented growth, eventually grow- 
ing to seven locations in north and central Louisiana. 

Waskom attended the NSU Elementary Lab and Middle 
Lab schools and several members of his immediate and 
extended family also graduated from Northwestern. He 
served on the NSU Foundation Board of Directors, including 
a term as president, during the university's first-ever capital 
campaign that raised more than $17 million. He has also 
served as president of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of 
Commerce and as a board member and treasurer of Natchi- 
toches Kiwanis Club and the Historic District Business As- 
sociation. Waskom has been an active personal and financial 
supporter of many local charitable organizations. In 2005, 
he was inducted into the Northwestern State School of Busi- 
ness Hall of Distinction. 

"I think of what a perfect gentleman Lee is and what a 
pleasure he has been to work with," said NSU President Dr. 
Randall J. Webb. "This gift could not be more timely. This 
places Northwestern in a firm position for the future and 
says a lot about the legacy of the Waskom family and what 
they mean to Northwestern State." 

"I'd like to encourage others to consider this type of option 
for a gift to the university/'Waskom said. "It's a gift after I'm 
gone that will provide for NSU and help build a wonderful 
future here." 

AiumnK lotumns 

SUMMER 2012 

Pilot Club Scholarship will address 
brain injury treatment and advocacy 

The Pilot Club of Many has initiated an endowed schol- 
arship through a donation of $1 5,000 to the Northwestern 
State University Foundation that will benefit a student 
whose field of study will impact individuals who have 
suffered a traumatic brain injury or have a brain-related 
disability. Likely candidates would be students majoring 
in education, social work, counseling, nursing or biology/ 
pre-med. First preference will be given to a graduate of 
Many High School with a grade point average of 3.5 or 
better. The scholarship will be a one-time award present- 
ed annually to an incoming freshman chosen by a com- 
mittee at Many High School. 

The ideal recipient for the award "would be a student 
whose concentration is focused on helping those who 
have suffered strokes, brain injuries or brain-related dis- 
orders," said Barbara Crow, club officer and Pilot Interna- 
tional Foundation representative. 

According to Many Pilot Club President Jan Varnado, 
the philanthropic focus of the Pilot Club International is 
the prevention and treatment of brain injuries and brain 
disorders. Varnado said the Many Pilot Club, a service 
group chartered in 1 972, is disbanding and proceeds from 
the sale of the Pilot Club House are being dispersed to 
organizations that support the club's mission. 

"We are so pleased to be able to do this,"Varnado said. 
"We always looked forward to presenting an annual 
scholarship to a Many High School graduate and this will 
ensure that the award will continue, even though the Club 
is no longer there." 

"Scholarships are a priority for Pilot International," said 
Pansy Morgan, Pilot Club secretary. "This guarantees that 
a student from Many High School will receive this schol- 
arship and go on to work in a field related to brain 

Members of the Many Pilot Club have ensured that the Club's 
legacy of service will continue by donating $15,000 to the North- 
western State University Foundation to create a scholarship to 
benefit a student pursuing a career in a field that will help indi- 
viduals with brain injuries or brain-related disorders. From left are 
Barbara Crow, Pilot Club International Foundation representative; 
Drake Owens, former director of the NSU Foundation; Pilot Club 
President Jan Varnado; Pilot Club Secretary Pansy Morgan, Acting 
NSU Foundation Director Brad Laird and NSU's Assistant Director of 
Development Jill Bankston. 

"We are happy to accept this on behalf of the Foundation," 
said Drake Owens, former executive director of the NSU 
Foundation. "The strength of Northwestern State's programs 
in education, special education, social work, counseling, 
biology and nursing align with the Club's goals of assisting 
individuals with brain injuries through professional medical 
treatment, therapy and advocacy." 

For information on making a contribution to support the 
Pilot Club of Many Scholarship, contact Jill Bankston, associ- 
ate director of Development, at (318) 357- 4241 or e-mail 

Officers in the disbanding Pilot 
Club of Many finalized the 
donation to the Northwestern 
State University Foundation 
that provides scholarship 
dollars for a graduate of 
Many High School intent 
on pursuing a career 
to benefit individuals 
with a brain injury or 
disorder. From left are 
Pilot Club President Jan 
Varnado, Pilot Club In- 
ternational Foundation 
Representative Barbara 
Crow, Pilot Club Secretary 
Pansy Morgan and Drake 
Owens, former executive di- 
rector of the NSU Foundation. 

Alumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

Education scholarship to assist Vernon, Beauregard women 


After a long career in education, 
Dr. Diane Knight, center, has 
established several scholarships 
to help women from rural 
Louisiana pursue teaching 
degrees. From left are former 
NSU Director of University 
Advancement Drake Owens, 
Knight, and Assistant Director of 
Development Jill Bankston. 

A Northwestern State University 
alumna and long-time educator es- 
tablished a planned gift through the 
Northwestern State University Founda- 
tion that will help students from rural 
west central Louisiana pursue careers 
in education. The Dr. Diane Knight 
Scholarship in Education will be pre- 
sented to a one female student from 
Beauregard Parish and one female 
student from Vernon Parish seeking 
degrees in education from Northwest- 
ern State University. 

Students chosen must be an incom- 
ing freshman with a minimum 3.0 
grade point average with a demon- 
strated financial need. The students 
may retain the scholarship up to four 
years if the criteria is continuously met. 

Knight was born in Beauregard Par- 
ish and graduated from Evans High 
School in Vernon Parish. She hopes the 
scholarship will help women achieve 
career goals, particularly those who 
may be returning to the classroom as 
non-traditional students with family 

"In those areas, there is still little op- 
portunity for employment, with most 
professional women working as teach- 
ers or nurses," Knight said. "I wanted to 

provide an opportunity for women in 
those areas." 

Knight earned her undergradu- 
ate degree in business and English 
education at McNeese State University 
in 1976 and master's degree in spe- 
cial education at Northwestern State 
in 1980. She also earned plus 30 in 
education administration supervision 
and completed her Ph.D. in curriculum 
and instruction at NSU in 1986. She 
taught special education for many 
years before moving into administra- 
tion and working with pupil appraisal 
in the public school system and the 
prison system. 

During her career, she also taught 
at the college level at the University 
of Southwestern Louisiana, where she 
was director of special education; the 
University of Georgia and the Univer- 
sity of Arkansas-Little Rock, where she 
was an assistant dean in the College of 

Dr. Knight established identical 
scholarships at McNeese State Univer- 

Her mother, Willie Mae Hunter, a Cous- 
hatta native, graduated from Northwest- 
ern State in 1940. 

Schelette Scholarship awarded to outstanding accounting major 

Joe Schelette believes in education 
and, still in the midst of a long career, 
generously supports students in North- 
western State University's School of 
Business through a scholarship award- 
ed annually to an upper level student 
majoring in accounting. 

"I like young people and I like work- 
ing with kids," he said. "Accounting is 
a tough major. If I can help a student, 
that's my goal in life." 

Schelette's accounting scholarship 
is designated to a junior-level student 
with a 3.5 or higher grade point aver- 
age. The scholarship was established in 
2010 through a matching program with 
his employer, Southwestern Electric 
Power Company (SWEPCO), a division of 
American Electric Power. Schelette has 
been with the company for 34 years. 

Caitlin Guillory of Marksville was last 
year's recipient. Guillory is an account- 
ing major with a 3.8 grade point aver- 
age and will graduate in May 201 3. 

Schelette graduated from North- 
western State in 1969. He intended to 
study business education, but a high 
school counselor noticed he was good 
at bookkeeping and suggested he go 
into accounting. He is a self-described 
work-a-holic who still puts in 9 and 1 
hour days, has weathered company 
reorganization and enjoys finding new 

Schelette is also an avid supporter 
of Northwestern State athletics and is 
a member of the Athletic Association 
Board of Directors. 

Northwestern State University accounting 
student Caitlin Guillory of Marksville was 
the recipient of a scholarship established by 
Joe Schelette, a 1 969 graduate of North- 

Mumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

Athletic News 

Northwestern State 
Director of Athletics Greg 
Burke recently presented 
a token of appreciation to 
Dannie and Molly Collins, 
and their children Daniel 
and Cassie, for their 
generous support that 
made building the Collins 
Family Pavilion possible 
last year. 

The Collins family 
received a framed acrylic 
painting of the Collins 
Family Pavilion created by 
NSU art student Timothy 

"The Collins Family Pavilion has 
been a wonderful addition, from an 
aesthetic perspective, to the central 
area of the NSU athletic complex. 
More importantly, the fact that it is 
used throughout the year enhances 
the vitality level on-campus and 
attracts off-campus visitors to our 
campus, as well," Burke said. "The NSU 
Foundation and Alumni Association 
deserve kudos for working closely 
with the Collins family to make this 
facility a reality." 

The Collins Family Pavilion provides 
picnic table-style seating under a 
covered roof with ceiling fans, and 
adjacent restrooms and serving areas. 
It is in the middle of the Demon Alley 
tailgating area on the old football 
practice field south of Turpin Stadium. 

It was funded by a gift from the 
Collins family, who recognized that 
developing a cornerstone facility 
for NSU tailgating activities would 
be extremely beneficial for not only 
Demon football fans, but for the entire 
university community, Burke said. 

Their vision has been borne out 
by the frequent use of the facility by 
university groups and organizations 
for outings throughout the year. 
Alumni and friends have also rented 
the facility and it's been put to use for 
university activities including student 
organization events and Freshman 
Connection activities. 

For information on renting the 
Collins Family Pavilion, contact Haley 
Blount in the NSU Alumni office at 

Alumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

Look in g Back 

Northwestern State University and the Natchi- 
toches community were stunned when daytime 
talk show hostess and media mogul Oprah Win- 
frey paid a visit to alumna Peggy Plunkett (1957, 
1992) in October 2002. After Plunkett invited 
Winfrey to visit Natchitoches during a September 
2002 taping of her show, the celebrity jetted into 
town unannounced and got a taste of Natchi- 
toches's charm and hospitality as the city and 
university community quickly rallied to make her 
visit memorable. 

A surprised Plunkett and Winfrey drew a crowd 
as they visited downtown shops and restaurants 
and were invited to grand marshal Northwestern 
State's Homecoming parade. Winfrey met with 
NSU President and Mrs. Randall J. Webb and 
NSU's Homecoming honor court before she and 
Plunkett rode through the Historic District where 
parade-goers cheered and waved signs that read 
"We Love Oprah." Winfrey spoke at the pep rally 
on the riverbank and thanked Homecoming 
Queen Laci Stokes for sharing the festivities with 

The following week, the national spotlight 
shone on Natchitoches and Northwestern when 
footage from Winfrey's visit to Natchitoches and 
Plunkett's personal story were the focus of Win- 
frey's show, titled "Everybody Has A Story." 

Mumni Columns 

SUMMER 2012 

Guess Who 

These linemen posed for a photo during a break 
in the Northwestern State-Florence State football 
matchup in the fall of 1 969. Can you name them? 
The first five readers to call the Alumni Center at 
(318) 357-4414 will win a prize. 

Answers from the Summer edition of Guess Who, members of the 1981- 
82 Student Union Governing Board, were, seated from left, George Celles, 
parliamentarian; Regina Young, treasurer; Alicia Haynes, first vice president; 
Archie Anderson, president; Angela Guillory, secretary, and Burton Mc- 
Clendon, second vice president. Standing were programs advisors Jim Hurd 
and Davis Palmour. 

Those who guessed correctly were Archie Anderson (1982, 1985) and 
James Martin (1985). 

In Memory 

1 939 - Dr. Kenneth Durr, Aug. 22, 201 2, Nacogdoches, Texas 
1943 - Sadie Grezaffi Thomas, July 21, 201 2, Natchitoches 

1 954 - Iva Lois Davis West, Nov. 1 6, 201 1 , Leesville 

1 955 - Bill Collinsworth, July 2 1 , 201 2, Bryceland 

1 970 - Ann Olivia Hartwick, Feb. 25, 201 2, Ruston 

1972 -Charles Mercer "Buddy" Scott Jr., May 17, 2012, Bossier City 

1 961 - Dr. Simon Bewell Combs, Jr., May, 20, 201 2, Shreveport 

1 974 - Steve Carlton, June 1 7, 201 2, Sunnyvale, Texas 

1982 - Marilyn Motter Langston, Oct. 29, 201 1, Franklin 

1 986 - Irma Dinkins, June 5, 201 2, Tulsa, Okla. 

1997, 2002 - Stephen Charles "Chuck" Norwood, Aug. 3, 2012, Natchitoches 

2004 -Clavord"Clay"Sepulvado Hennigan, Aug. 21, 2012, New Orleans 

Joseph Patrick Fitzmorris, July 1 9, 201 2, West Monroe 

Alumni Columns 


version including the 
new Lagniappe section 
where more snippets, 
alumni spotlights, 
additional photos 
and video clips can be 
found. View the full 
magazine with the new 
on-line section at 


Northwestern State University 
Alumni Columns 
Natchitoches, LA 71497-0002 

Postage Paid 
Postal Permit 
USPS 01 5480 

Schedule of Events 

Thursday, October 25 

All Day Alumni Art Show 

Hanchey Gallery (on display through Friday) 

Friday, October 26 

9:00 a.m. Alumni Association Board Meeting 

Red River Waterway Commission Building 

10:30 a.m. NSU Foundation Board Meeting 

Red River Waterway Commission Building 

Noon Homecoming Golf Tournament 

NSU Recreation Complex 

5:30 p.m. Homecoming Parade & Pep Rally 

The Homecoming parade will begin promptly at 5:30 
p.m., departing campus through the main gates of the 
Northwestern State onto Second Street, turning east 
on Rue Touline and proceeding down Rue Beauport 
to the Fleur de Lis stage on Natchitoches's downtown 
riverbank. Numerous student organizations will be 
riding colorful floats and throwing goodies to parade- 
goers. The pep rally on the riverbank will feature 
performances by spirit groups and dancers and an 
introduction to the Homecoming Court and senior 
football players. 

6:30 p.m. Long Purple Line Cocktail Hour 
Student Union Lobby 

7:00 p.m. Demon Tennis Reunion Reception 

Health & Hum. in Perform, inc t (|ymn,isium 

7:30 p.m. Long Purple Line Dinner & Induction Ceremony 
Student Union Ballroom 

The President s I >i\tmguished Service Award winner, 
the Graduate N Club, Hall of Distinguished Educators 
inductees and School of Business Hall of Distini ttOfl 
honorees will also be recognized 

Visit our new website at 

Saturday, October 27 

8:00 a. m Homecoming 5K Fun 

Run/1 Mile Dog Walk 

Collins Pavilion 

9:00 a.m. N Club Hall of Fame 

Magale Recital Hall 

10:00 a.m. NSU Recruiter's Reception and Open House 

-Student Services Center 

10:00 am College of Education & Human Development 

Reunion -TEC 
(Hall of Distinguished Educators Induction Ceremony) 

1 0:30 am B.A.A. Brunch & Membership Drive 

Student Union, President's Room 214 

1 1 :00 a.m. School of Business Reception 
Russell Hall, Natchitoches Room 
(School of Business Hall of Distinction Induction) 

Noon Demon Regiment Open House 

James A. Noe Military Science Building 

1 :00 p.m. Tailgating Activities 

Collins Pavilion/Demon Commons 

(Entertainment to be provided by the 

Glenn Rainey Band) 
5:30 p.m. Pregame Activities 

Turpin Stadium 

(Honorees will be recognized) 

6:00 p.m. Northwestern State vs. Nk hoik State 

Turpin Stadium "Battle of the NSUs" 

7:30 p.m. Halftime Ceremonies 

Turpin Stadium 
(Honorees will be recognized)